Sound — 10
Fantastic sound which really presents 80's rock/metal in a good way, unlike some other bands like Poison. Eddie Van Halen's sound has really evolved since Van Halen's 1st release in 1978. This is mainly due to the Floyd Rose tremelo which Eddie only started to use to it's full effect on this record. Eddie also started using synthesisers a lot on this record, of the nine songs three are on synthesisers: "1984", the hit single "Jump" and "I'll Wait." However the album has it's fair share of traditional Van Halen guitar rockers like "Panama," "Hot For Teacher," "Drop Dead Legs" and "House Of Pain." The fantasic thing about this album is it did fantastically well in the charts spawning the hit single "Jump" which hit the number 1 spot for a while as well as the other singles "Panama," "Hot For Teacher" and "I'll Wait," as well as being a fantastic hard rock album as well. The most important aspect of the sound however are the guitar solo's: every one is fantastic! The best are the ones on "Jump," "Hot For Teacher" and "House Of Pain." Every guitarist should own this record.
Lyrics — 8
The lyrics are great and just typical Van Halen. The lyrics on "Jump" are the best and maybe the reason for the song doing so well in the charts. The lyrics are also fantastic on songs "Panama" a song about a race car called the panama express. As well as "Hot For Teacher." The lyrics are exceptional on the album except fot two songs "House Of Pain" and "Drop Dead Legs" both of these songs have hardly any vocals and Eddie's lead breaks lead off from the middle of the songs right to the end.
Overall Impression — 10
If this record was stolen or lost I would buy it again, it is without doubt one of the best records in my CD collection and one of the best records of the '80s. It won Kerrang's album of the year in (guess what year) 1984. This album has to be Van Halen's best album along with "Van Halen" the bands debut which is another gem of a record but for different reasons. The most impressive songs on the album are "Panama," "Hot For Teacher" and "Jump" which all had fantastically recieved video's back in the early days of MTV. I would check them out. Some of the lesser known songs are fantastic as well like "House Of Pain" and "Top Jimmy" which will fascinate today's guitarists who have never heard of Van Halen and listen to emo and other sub-genres of rock which need no talent to play/write.